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NASA showed what clouds look like on Mars

Archive image of the “Mars Express” spacecraft showing a giant icy valley on Mars (Photo: EFE/ESA/DLR/FU Berlin/G. Neukum/File)

This Friday they went around the world Images captured by NASA’s Curiosity roverin their souls Clouds drift across the Martian sky. The photos were acquired in 8 frames movie made with photos from the navigation camera On December 12, 2021.

The cloud shadows It can be seen drifting across the terrain. According to NASA, a second 8-frame movie captured with the same navigation camera is shown Clouds drift directly over Curiosity.

Scientists were able to calculate the speed at which clouds move and their height above the surface by comparing the two perspectives. They pointed out that These clouds are very high, as they are close to 80 kilometers above the surface. And they pointed out that at this altitude it is very cold at this altitude, which suggests that Made of carbon dioxide ice instead of glacial water cloudswhich are usually found at lower altitudes.

The Mars’ clouds are very faint in the atmosphere What is needed Special imaging techniques to see them. NASA explained in a document that it takes multiple images in order to have a clear, consistent background, allowing anything else moving within the image (such as clouds or shadows) to show up afterward. Subtract this static background from each individual photo.

Attend the Ice clouds at high altitudes could have kept Mars warm enough for rivers and lakes. That’s the conclusion of a study published in PNAS by University of Chicago planetary scientist Edwin Kite, an assistant professor of geophysical sciences and an expert on otherworldly climates.

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Obviously, one of the biggest mysteries in modern space science boils down to the presentation by NASA’s persevering spacecraft, which landed on Mars, a desert planet today, yet the craft landed next to an ancient river delta. This apparent contradiction has baffled scholars for decades, not least At the same time that Mars had great rivers, it received less than a third of the sunlight we enjoy on Earth.

Clouds on Mars (GIF: NASA)
Clouds on Mars (GIF: NASA)

Kate used a computer model to suggest a promising explanation: Mars may have a thin layer of ice clouds at high altitudes that caused global warming. “There was an embarrassing disconnect between our evidence and our ability to explain it in terms of physics and chemistry. This hypothesis goes a long way toward filling that gap,” Kate said.

Of the many explanations previously proposed by scientists, none has been completely successful. For example, some Suggest a huge asteroid collision It could have released enough kinetic energy to heat the planet. But other calculations have shown that this effect will only last for a year or two, and traces of ancient rivers and lakes show that warming may have lasted for at least hundreds of years.

Kate and his colleagues wanted to verify an alternative explanation: high-altitude clouds, like fluffy clouds on Earth. even in A small amount of clouds in the atmosphere can lead to a significant increase in the temperature of the planet, The greenhouse effect is similar to the effect of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

(with EP info)

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